View Full Version : why am I a choker ?

08-06-2006, 07:50 PM
I spend 5 hours a day every day at the pool hall. Been doing this for 2 years and been playing off and on for 20 years. 4 days a week im on fire all day long. Making most all my shots. Perfect leaves and on these days several UPA and IPT pros I play with Im able to hang with and beat in race to 7 nine ball. Using the top players in the world as my measureing stick Im more than happy with my game. However 3 days a week Its like Im the biggest billiard spaz ever. Great leaves always still however hanging up or rattling every 3rd or 4th ball. Which sucks on many levels as I wish I could miss the whole pocket if im going to miss instead of giving up the shot with ball in the jaws of the pocket. Ive played in three larger tournaments in the last month. Was eliminated 3 times and each time was on the hill shooting the nine ball. Each time I left it in the jaws after the gagging choke. Granted I shot horribly the entire match compared to my normal speed. Its like I was so upset about how bad I was playing when all came to pass I still had one easy shot for the win. And im talking easy like a 2 foot slight angle cut shot. Ive played terrible in all three tournaments and was eliminated by a girl a fat redneck and a guy in a wheelchair. They all played ok but nowhere close to my speed. Gambling id give all of them the last 3 and the wild 7 and the breaks.

My guesses are that my problem is
coffee before play
I need glasses 3 days a week.
Im naturally a choker for life. which totally isnt true in non billiard related sports. Ive always been a clutch player and 4 days a week I wont miss a money ball.
thanks for your analysis. go easy on me.

08-07-2006, 06:34 AM
Sofy60 The only cure I know is just to concentrate on your breathing. Spend time just concentrating on inhaling through your nose exhaling slowly with your mouth while shooting. Plan your shot and position standing over the ball and just concentrate on your breathing when shooting. This disease probably can be linked to the Fear or Flight part of men's brain. There has been many studies of this and what part of the brain it originates from. ####

08-07-2006, 06:42 AM
You are probably making the key balls you are missing overly important in your life. The fundamentals of performing well under pressure has always been to expose yourself to that pressure until you become acustomed to it. When you shoot a key shot (really any shot) you have to separate yourself from the outcome and perform the shot in a relaxed but not lazy state. Understanding that if you aim, stroke and hit the cue ball in the right place, your shots will go. The balls don't care about pressure, which shot you are making or the outcomoe.

If you are a strong visualizer, try thinking of your lastshot in a game as only the next to last shot even is you have to get position on an invisible ball somewhere on the table. Some of your statement, "I'm a natural choker." are not productive and will come back to haunt you at critical times if you don't put that behind you.

Many of us have learned to enjoy the challenge of pressure shots, that's what we are there for. It's sort of like, "give me the ball coach!" You have to want to be in that position to perform well.

Anyway, it is all mental and you have to work most of this out for yourself. Just try to relax in those tough spots, I know it's not easy but the longer histroy you build up in these situations, the better you should become at handling them. UNLESS, you just keep ltting the pressure build and keep the attitude of being a choker.


08-07-2006, 06:51 AM
Here is a link to a book excerpt - hope this helps.

The Art of The Choke (Book Version - LONG) (http://www.billiardsdigest.com/ccboard/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=ccb&Number=169924&Forum=cc b&Words=Art%20of%20the%20choke&Match=Entire%20Phra se&Searchpage=0&Limit=25&Old=allposts&Main=169924& Search=true#Post169924)

Fran Crimi
08-07-2006, 07:32 AM
Ive played terrible in all three tournaments and was eliminated by a girl a fat redneck and a guy in a wheelchair. <hr /></blockquote>

Why should anybody help you when you talk like this? I bet you don't even know what I mean.

08-07-2006, 10:04 AM
Because you are a living contradiction. You measure your game with all the top pros and are happy with it, but get eliminated by a girl, a fat redneck, and a guy in a wheelchair ..... If that isn't a contradiction, I don't know what is!!! Good players don't 'lose' it half of the week, even when they are off, they are still stronger than most players, or still can find a way to win.

My guess would be you don't pay attention to the little details, or gloss over them at times, and hence your shooting goes downhill fast. Like not paying attention to your stroke on that 9 ball, or taking the shot for granted, or simply you haven't played someone really better than you, where every shot is a do or die situation.

If you always play someone you can beat, you will show how good you are, but will never know how good you could be.The other reason people choke is because many people display confidence, but they all do not really possess it.
Pretending you are something you really aren't shows up in close pressure contests, as does skill one possesses.
People win for different reasones, just as people lose for different reasons, and skill is only one of the reasons.

What people display on the outside is a reflection of what is on the inside. Want your world to be better, then first make yourself better, and that starts on the inside first.

08-07-2006, 02:50 PM
thanks for the positive advice.
I was terribly accurate and honest in my original post. My game goes from that strong to that weak on pocketing balls. Some days i can see it and some days I cannot.
I agree my lack of tournament and large money gambling experience is a major factor. Its something ill have to get used too.

08-07-2006, 02:54 PM
my apoligies to anyone offended by my verbage. I was telling the true and dramatic story of my tournaments and not dissing women.